Before You Tear It Down…


Morning all, welcome back to the scuttlebutt.  Pull up a chair and let’s talk.


Another mass shooting, at a school, another mental health issue, and another semiauto weapon.  More screaming from the left that we revise the outmoded and antique constitution, and get rid of the second amendment.


More screaming from the right, that it wouldn’t solve anything, that the gun is not the issue, that mental health is the issue.


Well, mental health may be part of it, hell it’s a large part of it.  But it’s a symptom not the disease.


Shooting up a school isn’t something new, it happened back in 1966.  The psycho that did it, got up in a clock tower, and started picking people off, after killing his mother and his wife with a knife, and coming to the University of Texas, shot and killed 3 people at the base of the tower, then climbed to the top of the tower and started shooting anything that moved.  


That part of the experience is similar to what we still see, but here’s the difference: He managed to kill all the rest of his victims in the first 20 minutes of the 96-minute ordeal.  That’s how long it took for the students, and faculty to arm up, and start returning fire.  From the point at which bystanders (which is to say, society) became armed opponents, he never killed again, and almost no one got wounded after this point either.  Oh by the way, he did this with a bolt action three round magazine hunting rifle.

I don’t remember this, I was about 4.  I surely don’t remember the biggest mass murder at an American school, because it happened in 1927.  No, it wasn’t a gun.  Dynamite.   A shitload of it. This was the deadliest school killing in our history.  


Take a look at something there… between 1927 and 1966 there was one mass school shooting, Pasadena 1940. (it was a school teacher who had been fired, the folks he shot were all school employees.)  In the aftermath of Texas, there was one more school shooting in ’66, a kid that admired the Texas shooter (used a pistol).  There was a race riot shooting in a university in South Carolina in ’68, the police shot up a bunch of peace protesters in a college in ’70 (I don’t think this counts as a “school mass shooting”, but we’ll throw it in there) ’71 in Spokane WA at a college (again a hunting rifle) in ’74 in New York, a high school honor student took his hunting rifle and killed 3, wounded 11.  There was one more each in ’76 and ’77 (I should mention here, I’m counting as a mass shooting anything with more than 5 total victims killed or wounded) one in ‘79 Then you have to go to 1984, which by the way was also the first use of an AR in a shooting, kid sat in his house and shot people coming out of the school.  The only two that he killed, he used a shotgun on, not the AR.  One in ’85 (shotgun, no one killed, several kids had gotten in a fight with this kid, who went home and got a shotgun…)  In ’86, a former town marshal took hostages in a school, and wounded 74 killing 2. 2 in ’88, 1 in ’89.  Three in ’92, one in ’94, one in ’97, two in ’98 and from ’98 on there was at least one every year, most years two or more.  


“So what’s your point old man?” is that what I heard from the peanut gallery?  Well, I have a couple.


First, fully automatic firearms were available to the general public until 1968.  Through the MAIL.  Yes, that’s right, you could send $96.99 to Brownells or someone and they would mail you a Thompson Submachine gun, a Browning automatic rifle (they cost a bit more), or any German, Italian, or Soviet full auto firearm, from the Second World War or after.  Hell, the Thompson JUST missed WW 1, and the BAR didn’t…  So, in spite of the availability of Full auto weapons, the VAST majority of these shootings were pistols or bolt action hunting rifles.  There have been about 3 AR involved school shootings.  You know? The rifle that was invented in 1954, that is NOT full auto?


Second, note how the shootings take off in the ‘70s and later.  Now I went to school in the ‘70s, and I honestly don’t remember these shootings.  They didn’t make the national news, they were not a big thing to talk about or worry about. Most of the cars in the high school parking lot had shot guns or rifles in them during hunting season, and no one batted an eye.  If you got a nice new gun for Christmas, it was liable to come out of your car after school to show to the wrestling coach, who happened to be a hunter and gun nut. (he was also the history teacher)


I will say that I grew up in the Midwest, which was the last place affected by this disease.  We had fights in school, shit I must have gotten suspended ten times during my school days, most all of them for fighting.  Almost all the boys in school had pocket knives in their pocket, you just weren’t dressed without a knife.  No one got cut, no one got stabbed, NO ONE got shot.


Then came Columbine, and suddenly this sort of thing happens everywhere, and everyone is scared of it happening to their family.  What happened?


Here’s a hint: In the 60s a group of radicals spent an extreme amount of time and effort destroying the “outdated morals” of society. They were successful. The trouble is, they didn’t stop to think of what needed to be put in place instead. They were barbarians inside the gates.

Well, here we are 50 years later, they were successful. They tore away all the mores and behaviors of the nation, and replaced it with a lack of mores and acceptable behaviors. “if it feels good do it, man”. 


BRAVO. slow clap. 


The left won, placed a majority in power, replaced the media, destabilized the nuclear family, removed the stigma of failure from such things as teenage pregnancy, being on the dole, etc…

Here’s what you get from that. The collapse of societal rules.


In my youth, as I mentioned, half the cars and trucks in the high school parking lot had guns in them from Sep. 15 till after the last hunting season was over. No one shot up schools. Of course, we were the last generation raised to respect and yes, to fear authority and to be taught from birth that there was such a thing as universal right and wrong.


Now that is a concept much in disrepute. We’re told that we can’t judge other societies, because that’s part of their culture.  Slavery, the stoning to death of a woman for the sin of being raped, the burning alive of people for being a different religion… that is part of their culture and therefore unquestionable.


I’m reminded of something the British commander in chief of India, Charles Napier said: “Be it so.” This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.” [To Hindu priests complaining to him about the prohibition of Sati religious funeral practice of burning widows alive on her husband’s funeral pyre.] (it’s worth noting, they didn’t burn the widow.)


The hippies did a great job of destroying that concept, the right helped out by being unwilling to bend in the slightest. The good news is that some people have woken up to the disaster that the left created when they threw out the baby with the bath water. We’re seeing now, the opposite swing of the pendulum is starting.  Trump’s election, in spite of every “expert” saying he had no chance, was an indication of that.   Hopefully it won’t go as far in the opposite direction, though that’s not likely.


Yes, I fear going too far right, just as much as going too far left.  A reactionary government, that requires you follow their faith, and prosecutes “sin” is just as bad, no matter whether it’s a sin from the Christian bible, or the sin of not parroting whatever the current leftist drivel is.


I want a government that makes sure our interests are protected in foreign trade and dealings, that makes sure we have a level playing field at home, that defends us against those that would do harm to us, (to, in the words of Thomas Jefferson “Pick my pocket, or break my leg”) and other than that, stays the fuck out of my business.  


Do I believe there is universal right and wrong? Yes.


Do I think it’s the government’s job to decide it or enforce it? NO.


It is societies job to decide that, to teach that, and yes, to enforce that.  NOT the Government.  My issue is that no one is deciding it, teaching it, or enforcing it. We have yet to recover from the destruction of the old society, and create new.  While that condition exists, there will be barbarians, and they will burn shit, to watch the pretty light.  They will kill people just to watch the light go out of their eyes.  Nothing that you outlaw, will stop that.  We need to make being a barbarian unacceptable, and those that don’t “get it” need to be destroyed as the rabid dogs that they are, as Napier suggested.


That’s what it looks like from my seat.  I will try to find something a little less political and dark to discuss next week, if the news will cooperate.


Until then,

I remain, yours in service.

William Lehman.


  1. Great article, Mr. Lehman, but it needs one correction. While you could, indeed, buy firearms through the mail until 1968, automatic weapons had been under much stricter control since the enactment of the National Firearms Act of 1934.

  2. In High School, everyone had guns. Integrated school. Integrated teams. We Oooed and Awwwed over each other’s latest present, and discussed the relative merits and demerits of a .243, vs a 30.06, vs a .308, and whether 00 Buck or solid slug was better in brush.

    It was a football coach who walked out to the parking lot (we weren’t a big enough school to have a wrestling team). Before anyone got to handle a new rifle, “Take out the bolt. A gun with a bolt is always loaded. Then check and make sure the barrel is clear. Never point at anything you aren’t ready to kill.” Safety was always the first lesson.

    Women teachers, like many of the girls in class – including at least two cheerleaders – hunted. One English teacher walk into school with what looked like a shotgun in a gun bag, and went to the Teachers’ Lounge. Students weren’t allowed in there. Unlike her usual dresses, that day she wore boots, fatigue pants, and there was mud on the sleeves of her flannel shirt. “Didn’t get a shot. Going back Saturday. Now open your books to . . .” some poet I’ve long forgotten.

    I usually didn’t carry a knife. Frequently had a pocket knife in my locker. But, there was always one around to borrow if needed.

    Lunch time was the new Show and Tell. Saw my first Swiss Army Knife. “It’s got Tweezers!” He wouldn’t let any of us touch it as he showed us all its tools. The Principal came over, examined it, handed it back and intoned “Put it back together and put it up. Lunch is almost over.” So we trundled off, mumbling our envy of the guy with the red pocket knife.

  3. While you could order many weapons through the mail up until 1968, automatic weapons were not included. Their sale was restricted by the 1934 NFA.
    Interestingly enough though, you could buy a semi automatic 20MM cannon! Take THAT puny .50 caliber rifle!

  4. > The hippies did a great job of destroying that concept, the right helped out by being unwilling to bend in the slightest.

    What makes you think the right should have bent at all? How exactly does one compromise with wickedness?

    If, on one side, we have a nice, clean, delicious tub of vanilla ice cream, and on the other side, a pile of poo, how does the ice cream compromises?

    If you mix the entire tub of ice cream into the poo, the poo is still poo.

    But if you add a half teaspoon of poo to the ice cream, you have ruined the ice cream.

    So it goes with moral standards. You can’t add them to a den of whores and thieves a spoonful at a time. But you can compromise moral standards and then they simply become window dressing for the aforementioned whores and thieves.

    • The left did have a few valid points. Specifically on the treatment of minorities as second class citizens. No I’m not advocating quotas, but the experiences of (for example) the black women working at NASA, were an example of the egregious treatment that needed to be fixed. No colored need apply on country clubs and other organizations, “block breaking”, etc… In much of society, it was REQUIRED that you be christian if you wanted to advance, and in most of the towns and cities, your financial worth determined your church, from the very poor going to the pentecostal, to the very rich going to anglican services. Frankly this breeds the worst form of hypocrisy where those that don’t believe but are desperate to advance become the small town Bernardo Gui. Freedom of religion means ALL religion, and freedom from any religion if you so choose.
      I understand that you might think atheists are evil, hell you might be right, though a couple of the smartest and kindest men I know are atheists. But how is forcing someone to publicly espouse a faith they don’t have create good? Every single time that morality was enforced by law, the end result has been tyranny.
      Those are the points that the right of the 50’s and 60’s should have bent on.

      • Dave Barry once wrote that the last time the left was correct about anything was civil rights in the 60’s, and they’ve been assholes about it ever since.

    • I’ve got mixed feelings and views on that. It was a noble concept as originally put forward, but yes, it became a goat screw.

  5. “First, fully automatic firearms were available to the general public until 1968. Through the MAIL. Yes, that’s right, you could send $96.99 to Brownells or someone and they would mail you a Thompson Submachine gun, a Browning automatic rifle (they cost a bit more), or any German, Italian, or Soviet full auto firearm, from the Second World War or after.”

    I think you may have confused mail-order full-auto with mail-order handguns. The NFA was passed and had kicked-in in 1934, requiring a high tax and full registration for all full-auto transfers. Mail-order handguns were still available in the early ’60s, up until CGA’68, which closed that down.

  6. Good points. Thanks.
    I generally agree with Thomas Jefferson (although his lifestyle indicates he thought of himself as one of the untouchable elites). However, “pick my pocket or break my leg” leads to problems especially the “pick my pocket”. That is the justification for the freedom suffocating “administrative state” that we have today. The “break my leg” part has become problematic as that is the justification for the current “intelligence” community and the DOJ/FBI ongoing attempted coup.

    • To my thought, and apparently to T.J.s based on his writings, picking my pocket included having it picked by the Government, and his basic concept of government, Leissez faire, (translated by his time to mean, leave the fucking people alone,) is, and will always be part of my views.

  7. So the government should not enforce “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shalt not steal”?
    The idea that the government should have no role in enforcing “morality” is a concept that the Left has successfully sold, but as an absolute it is pernicious.

    • “Thou shall not kill” is morality. “If you kill a person with premeditation that is murder in the first degree” is law. “thou shall not steal” is morality. “Removing objects from the dwelling of a person without their consent , valued at more than $1000. is Burglary in the first degree” is law. Both of those are examples of slippery slopes. If we went with “thou shall not kill” then the woman defending herself from a rapist with a 45 goes to prison. “Thou shall not steal” is a little harder to simply and succinctly show the pitfalls of, but read a little on how that got warped at the time of the Revolution, by the English government, and you may see what I mean.
      Then there is the fact that you can’t take just part of the ten commandments, it’s all or nothing. You can’t make them the law of the land, because they are the ten commandments, and not wind up violating the fuck out of the constitution. “Thou shall have no other Gods before me” Uh yea, that’s going to be a problem in view of the first amendment. Commandments 2-4, same problem, fuck Christians can’t even agree on which day is the Sabbath (seventh day adventists anyone?) and you want the state to enforce that? NO. Number 5, REALLY? So we’re going to enforce a law to honor parents? What if Mom is a crack whore, and dad is some nameless John? NO. Number 10… Wow, now there’s a method of jailing anyone you don’t like… (oh wait, I think that was done, they called it the inquisition…) UH NO.
      No sir, I stand by my position. State imposed morality leads inevitably to tyranny.

      • Far better to have morality in the core of a culture. I have always said that a guy is more afraid of being called a sonofabitch by his friends and neighbors than he is of going to jail. We have basically debased our culture and the SCOTUS has let it happen, step by step, by taking power away from citizens to shape the culture. Toynbee had it right: A civilization is built upon a religion, and when that fails, the civilization is supplanted by a new one with a new religion.

        Allahu akhbar, anyone?

  8. It is a foolish dream to imagine that law can be neutral on moral topics. Law *is* codified morality; the only question is, which morality (and whose)? In order to leave you alone or treat you fairly, some notion of restraint / moderation as a virtue in itself has to be encoded into the law. In order even to avoid picking your pocket or breaking your leg, some notion of harm as immoral has to be in there.

    Consider the scourge of ‘no-fault’ divorce. In pretending to be neutral on the morality of dissolving a marriage contract, the law has inverted marriage into the only contract in existence which one party may unilaterally breach and yet claim damages from the party still desiring to adhere to the contract. This is why the old laws against adultery, alienation, etc., were in writing although seldom if ever prosecuted; they were there as the common law basis for damages against a party breaching the marriage contract. Now, the only ‘moral’ embedded in marriage law is that no woman may ever really be held to her vow, and in all cases some man (or the State by proxy) must pay to insulate her from the consequences of abandoning her vow.

    • The state shouldn’t be involved in Marriage to begin with, and the only reason they are, is taxes. “Oh darling I love you so much, lets get the government involved,” said no person ever. Yes, Marriage is designed also to insure the welfare of any children… Which is still, at it’s core, about taxes. No sir. If I were emperor for a day, I would remove all mention of marriage from the laws, make it a religious thing, and the problem of, and only of, the church. The church may administer it as it chooses, to include the questions of gay marriage, divorce, etc… (I seem to remember there being issues on the question of divorce clear back to biblical times, cough Solomon, cough, and including most specifically a certain english king…) For taxes and inheritance etc… civil contract, signed at the same time as the marriage is performed, that spells out in detail the CONTRACT, and establishes outs, clauses etc… Oh and sir, while YES the woman sometimes is the culprit (Both of my divorces were because I came back from sea to find her fresh from some other man’s bed) Men stray just as often, maybe more often, and I find your complaints on the female to be disingenuous. Who cheated on you sir?

  9. It is a contradiction to believe in universal right and wrong and also believe it is society’s job to decide what right and wrong is. Either “we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights,” or those rights shift at society’s whim. There is a Creator, His Son is Jesus. Adam and Eve were given a choice to obey or disobey. They suffered the consequences of disobedience, but even after that, God provided a way for them to be redeemed. Since these truths are the ground of our current system, we should also allow people the freedom to obey, or disobey God- unless their actions infringe on other’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  10. Let the beatings begin. I say that only half facetiously. In the olden days of my youth males were civilized by a good beating from some superior or threat of a beating. The punishments for engaging in fisticuffs we mild; generally a mere forced disengagement by a bigger authority. What that did was insure males could decipher the limits to their wilder behavior including alpha male dominance displays without resorting to emasculation or deadly force. Odd, isn’t it that fighting civilizes males.
    I would also opine on changes in incarceration, conditions in prisons, the handling of mental health problem persons. Suffice it to say that excesses of harsh treatment were countered with excesses of leniency.

  11. Interesting read. The glaring omission: The same cultural changes happened throughout the Western world. Canada, Britain, most of the European continent …everywhere except Muslim-led countries, ironically.

    And nowhere else but here are mass killings a problem of epidemic proportions.

    So what is different there than here?

    • Uh actually, that’s not true. Mass shooting in Scotland brought about the most current spate of gun laws in England. Now they have mass knifings, and are trying to require that you prove need to buy a knife. Ditto Australia. I assume you forgot about the 2011 attack in Norway? 80 dead? Then there’s Chechnya, oh and lets not even go into the whole ethnic cleansing in Africa shit. Asia? have you read anything about the knifings in China, the Sarin gas attacks in the subway a few years ago in Japan? The mass violence by both the government and private citizens against minorities in SEA?

      • The Norway attack was a targeted political killing attacking young members of a leftist/globalist political party. It was not a spree shooting and it wasn’t terrorism either,

        • wow, let me run down the field to where you moved the goal posts… you said ” nowhere else but here are mass killings a problem of epidemic proportion”. so I listed some. Suddenly it’s not a mass killing if it doesn’t meet some special definition that I’m supposed to guess, by what you rule out. (Oh and I find it interesting that you think a “targeted political killing” isn’t terrorism. Uh, that’s sort of the definition of terrorism, the use of violence against people not of the “enemy’s” military to cause terror and change political policy.
          Sorry but you’re not discussing in good faith here. bye.

  12. We had ROTC and hundreds of guns in my hgh school. No one got shot. We also had crazy people back then too.
    What has changed in our society?

    • What changed?


      Replacing citizenship with consumerism, mass immigration, mass divorce, religious assumptions or morality replaced with secularism , no stable work, everyone moves around chasing jobs so much that that communities don’t exists and the institutions teach lies about human nature and human needs.

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